Reclamation Announces Proposed Fee Changes at New Melones Lake; Public Input Requested
Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100
For Release: February 15, 2008
The Bureau of Reclamation announces changes to its fee program in 2008 for New Melones Lake in order to implement the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA), Public Law 108-447, Title VIII. The REA authorizes Reclamation to participate in a fee collection and retention program, issue special recreation use permits, and participate in a nationwide parks pass initiative called the Federal Interagency Pass Program. Implementing this legislation marks the first time that a Reclamation-managed recreation area may retain revenues collected on-site and use them to enhance recreation facilities and services. Prior to REA, all revenues collected at New Melones went to the Federal Treasury.
The new fees will be implemented in two phases, with Phase I beginning Tuesday, April 1, 2008. At that time, the fee for a standard campsite is proposed to increase by $2, from $16 to $18, and a walk-in campsite would increase from $12 to $14. A fee will also be implemented to use the RV dump stations in Glory Hole and Tuttletown Recreation Area, historically a free service. Costs to maintain the facilities have increased dramatically, and the new fee will help offset those costs. The proposed fee is $8 per use for registered campers and $15 for other users.
Comments will be accepted on the proposed Phase 1 fees from Friday, February 15, to Monday, March 17, 2008. The comments will then be consolidated, responses developed, and a decision made and announced on the new Phase 1 fees. This information will also be posted on http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/field_offices/new_melones/index.html.
The Initial Plan for Phased Implementation of the 2005 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (Draft) is available at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/ccao/field_offices/new_melones/REA/docs/REA_Draft_Plan_Public_2-14-08.pdf. If you have problems accessing the document, please contact Ms. Lynnette Wirth at 916-978-5102 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Written comments on Phase I are due by Monday, March 17, 2008, to Mr. Jeff Laird, Bureau of Reclamation, 6850 Studhorse Flat Rd, Sonora, CA 95370, or email@example.com, or fax 209-536-9652. For additional information, please contact Mr. Laird at 209-536-9094 x229.
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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.